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Fruit

Fruits That a Shih Tzu Can (and should) Eat

Overview

There are several reasons why you should know which fruits a Shih Tzu puppy or dog can eat. Fruits play an important role in a canine's diet as many are packed with vitamins and antioxidants. They are a low calorie food, which makes them a great addition to meals in order to replace higher calorie ingredients. Many also contain healthy levels of fiber. In addition, if a Shih Tzu is a picky eater, a sprinkle of certain fruits may be just the thing to prompt the pup or older dog to eat his meal. 

Unlike glucose (found in candies and other high sugar processed foods) fruit contains fructose which does not affect insulin levels (is not linked to canine diabetes) and has not been shown to be a factor in weight gain. 

With this said, it is very important to know which fruits are most beneficial and which should not be given to a Shih Tzu.  

Since commercial treats can be filled with artificial coloring, preservatives and other nasty chemical ingredients, you may find that giving your Shih Tzu wholesome, fresh food including fruit is a great way to keep your puppy or dog eating healthy; these foods can even extend a dog's life span. 
This section will cover all possible fruits that you may be wondering about and discuss:
  • If it is okay to feed them to a Shih Tzu
  • The vitamins, calories and other nutritional value of each
  • Of those that are good for dogs, recommended portion sizes and serving suggestions
  • Fruits that should never be given
apple slices
Can you give a Shih Tzu Apples? This very popular fruit has gotten a bad rep in regard to feeding it to our dogs and it's really too bad because this is a super healthy treat when fed correctly. It's really due to an overly cautious approach that seems to have been exaggerated over time. Apple seeds contain amygdlin, which is a form of poison (cyanide) and for this reason, owners are warned to never let a dog eat the core of an apple.

We agree that dogs should not be given apple cores; however you should know that:
1) the seeds are actually not dangerous if the shell remains intact, it will pass through the body without doing any harm and 2) a few seeds are not considered to be a toxic amount; a Shih Tzu would need to ingest 5 or more to possibly have a reaction. 3) It should be noted that apple seeds are poisonous to humans as well and eating a large amount could be deadly. So, just like you do not eat these, neither should your dog. 

The fruit of the apple, on the other hand is a super healthy snack. It has Vitamin C, which aids the body in resisting infection and plays an important role in helping the body form and maintains connective tissue (bones, blood vessels and skin). Apples have B-complex vitamins, fiber (2.2 grams in a 1/2 apple), calcium, potassium and phosphorus. Researchers at Cornell University have found that apples can reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by over 20%. In addition, apples are good for Shih Tzu puppies and older dogs because they have a hard texture that is good for the teeth as well as being a food that stimulates saliva which helps lower levels of bacteria in the mouth. 
 
Red Delicious and Granny Smith are two of the best types of apples to give to a Shih Tzu. A good serving size is 1/2 of an apple, cut into slices. If you are not going to eat the other half yourself, it can last several hours in the fridge without turning brown; so many owners find that offering this twice per day (breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner) works well. One half of an apple has roughly 47 calories, no fat, no cholesterol and no sodium.  

Note: Due to calcium and phosphorous, dogs that have kidney issues should not eat apples.  
Can you give a Shih Tzu Bananas? Bananas are a super good choice for canines as an addition to meals or for snacks. They are high in vitamin C, vitamin B-6, magnesium and potassium. Potassium plays an important role in many areas of the body including proper functioning of the kidneys, nerves, muscle control and heart. It should be noted that any dog that has kidney disease should not eat a large amount of foods containing this mineral. 

Bananas are also great for a Shih Tzu because they can help prevent bladder infections, boost the immune system and can help with proper bone formation in young puppies. 
banana slices
They are also very low in sodium (as are many fruits) and high in antioxidants which not only prevents some types of cancers but also can aide in making a Shih Tzu's coat silky and shiny. 

A good serving size is 1/3 of a banana and this has approximately 35 calories. You can mash this and stir it into kibble, which is a good trick for getting a finicky Shih Tzu to eat his meals or serve this as slices that are given as a snack. To keep the rest of the banana from turning brown before you give more to your puppy or dog, it can help to peel back only the amount that you will be giving to your Shih Tzu. Other options to keep fruit pieces from turning brown are to brush them with lemon or lime juice, however most canines find the sour taste to be objectionable. 
a bowl of blueberries
Can you give a Shih Tzu Blueberries? Not only can you feed a Shih Tzu blueberries, it is highly recommended that you do. This is a super food (these are one of the healthiest fruits that exist) that is packed with antioxidants. Canines (just like us) have molecules in the body called 'free radicals'. Over time, these cause damage to cellular DNA, which can lead to disease all throughout the body. 

Feeding your Shih Tzu some blueberries on a regular basis can help prevent cancer, skin disease, heart disease, cataracts and even possibly help prevent Cognitive Canine Dysfunction (the canine equivalent of Alzheimer's disease. 
A Shih Tzu will also benefit from the vitamin K, vitamin B-6, manganese (helps make bones and cartilage strong), vitamin C and fiber that is found in blueberries. 

There are so many ways to feed blueberries to a Shih Tzu… you can mix some into meals or give some as a snack. Try folding a few blueberries and/or raspberries into a 1/2 cup of whole white yogurt for a super healthy, low-calorie snack. 

Frozen blueberries work tremendously well as rewards for training (house training, commands, heeling, etc.) since they are easy to dispense and puppies and dog learn better when the rewards given during training are something extra special and delicious. 

When training for heeling or commands when you'll need to give a treat for each correct action, one frozen blueberry at a time works well. When mixing into meals or as part of a mid-day snack, a good serving size is 1/4 to 1/3 cup, which has 21 and 28 calories, respectively. 
Can you give a Shih Tzu Cantaloupe? Many owners do not automatically think about cantaloupe as a snack for puppies or dogs, however this is actually a health fruit that dogs can eat. Why is this good for Shih Tzu? It has vitamins A, B and C, fiber, magnesium, thiamine, niacin, folic acid, beta-carotene and potassium. It is also a good, low calorie treat for dogs. The vitamin A found in cantaloupes can help a dog maintain good vision, as it keeps both the retina and cornea healthy. It also plays a role in the development of bones and teeth. 
canteloupe
Since cantaloupes grow on the ground as opposed to up in trees like many other fruits, the rind can harbor listeria and salmonella. If it is not cleaned, when a knife cuts through it, it can transfer bacteria from the rind to the fruit. For this reason, before you feed any cantaloupe to your Shih Tzu (or slice some up for yourself), you'll want to thoroughly rinse the rind with a clean produce brush and cool water. This fruit should also be kept in the refrigerator where it can stay good for up to a week.  

Small slices can be given as a snack and many Shih Tzu will also appreciate some bite sized pieces mixed into kibble. A good serving amount is 1/3 cup diced, which has only 18 calories
kiwi fruit for Shih Tzu
Can you give a Shih Tzu Kiwi? This tropical fruit has a good amount of vitamin C (28 mg per half cup) which is an antioxidant that can boost the immune system and help fight off many diseases including cancer. It also has some fiber, and potassium. A bit of raw kiwi helps with digestion due to an element called actinidain. 

As with just about any food, too much is never a good thing and with kiwi, a large amount given regularly can cause loose stools and upset stomach; this is partially due to the tiny little seeds, though these are NOT toxic and are considered to be edible.
Some larger breeds actually can handle eating the peel of the kiwi fruit, however we recommend peeling the rind when giving this to a Shih Tzu since the tiny fuzzy quills can get stuck on a dog's tongue. Dried kiwi (without any additives) is also fine to feed to a dog in small amounts.

So, while you can give kiwi to a Shih Tzu, do not give large amounts and be sure to peel them. A good serving is 1/2 of a kiwi which has only 20 calories. This is a good fruit to mix into main meals, along with other fruits to give dinner a boost of nutrients.
Can you give a Shih Tzu Guava? While not one of the most popular fruits, this can safely be given to Shih Tzu dogs in small quantities. Local supermarkets most often carry Apple guava, which is technically safe for canine consumption.

The pits of these are toxic and too much of guava can cause a dog to have constipation. For these reasons, while you can feed this to a Shih Tzu, there are many other fruits that are much better choices.
guava fruit on tree
diced mango fruit
Can you give a Shih Tzu Mango? This orange colored tropical fruit is in the same family (Drupes) as coconuts, dates and olives. It is packed with vitamin A, B6, C and E, along with potassium, beta-carotene and alpha-carotene (good for immune system function and vision). Some of the well-known benefits of mango include decreased risk of colon cancer, bone, skin and hair health

When given in proper serving sizes, it is also good for digestion. As with many other fruits, the pits are toxic and should be carefully disposed of when preparing this for your Shih Tzu.   
Most Shih Tzu really love this as a snack since they find it to be tasty; a few cool pieces given on a hot summer day can be a super healthy treat. 

If you will be feeding some mango to your Shih Tzu as a snack or mixing into his dinner, a good serving size is about 1/3 cup, which has approximately 33 calories. 
Can you give a Shih Tzu Nectarines? A nectarine is a type of peach that does not have the typically fuzzy skin. These are both known as stone fruits due to the large pits found in the middle. As with some other fruits, nectarine and peach pits are highly toxic to dogs. These are even more toxic than apple seeds due to their size and the amount of amygdlin (cyanide) that they hold.

The flesh of the fruit is fine for puppies and dogs to eat and it does contain some vitamin A, C and Magnesium. While a Shih Tzu can eat a nectarine or a peach, these do not contain as many vitamins as some other fruits and due to their small size and large pits, it is often not worth the effort is slicing this up for a dog when there are better choices. 
nectarine
orange cut in half
Can you give a Shih Tzu Oranges? This sweet and tasty citrus fruit is actually a hybrid food; it is a cross between a pomelo and a mandarin; this cross was done centuries ago with the pomelo though to be the 'parent' fruit. This is one of the most popular citrus fruits, accounting for 70% of citrus production. 

A whopping 68 million metric tons of oranges are grown each year; and most of these come from Florida, California and Brazil.  

For many of you, oranges are a seasonal fruit that you look forward to at certain times of the year. 
And when you do finally find a bag of bright oranges in your supermarket, you may wonder if it is okay to feed some to your Shih Tzu, so he/she can enjoy the taste as well. 

You'll be happy to know that a Shih Tzu can eat a few orange slices and these are packed with vitamin C, as well as having some B6, potassium and magnesium. However, due to the very high amount of fructose sugar found in these (that is why they taste as sweet as candy), if a dog is given too much, it can cause stomach upset and/or vomiting.

A good serving size is 1 orange segment for a puppy under the age of 1 year old and 2 segments for adult Shih Tzu. Each piece contains roughly 8 calories. 
Can you give a Shih Tzu Pears? These are a sweet treat for dogs and Shih Tzu can eat pear slices in moderate qualities. This fruit contains fiber, folic acid, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, copper and pectin. These also have vitamin C, B6 and a bit of magnesium. They do contain fiber which dogs need; however too much fiber can actually cause constipation. 

Another element to keep in mind regarding feeding pears to a Shih Tzu is to avoid giving pears slices or cubes that come pre-packed in syrup since these will have very high levels of sugar. 
pear
Canned pears can also have preservatives and even coloring, which negates one of the reasons for offering fresh food in the first place, which is to eliminate these chemicals from a dog's diet. 

If you are going to give some fresh pear to your Shih Tzu, be sure to core it and peel it. A good serving size is 1 to 5 slices for a puppy and 3 slices for an adult. 
pumpkin pieces
Can you give pumpkin to a Shih Tzu? While there may be some better nutritional choices in regard to giving fruits as snacks, it is good to give pumpkin to a Shih Tzu if the puppy or dog is suffering from a bout of diarrhea, constipation or even flatulence.

In most cases of a dog having an upset stomach with vomiting and/or diarrhea, you will want to not give food for 24 hours to allow the stomach to rest, making sure that the Shih Tzu is well hydrated, giving Pedialyte if necessary.
If a dog is still sick after 24 hours or if vomiting and/or diarrhea is severe, you will want to contact the veterinarian. If however, the symptoms have subsided or have lessened, it can then help to offer some pumpkin. Be careful to only use real pureed canned pumpkin and not the pie filling (these are two completely different foods). Offering a teaspoon to a Shih Tzu puppy and a tablespoon to an adult, 1 to 3 times per day can help the digestive system. As solid food is reintroduced, a mixture of a few spoons of pumpkin along with plain white rice, a dab of whole white yogurt and bite sized pieces of white chicken meat can offer nutrition without further stomach upset. 
Can you give raspberries to a Shih Tzu? This is a very healthy snack to give to a Shih Tzu. These are packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory elements, along with fiber, potassium and vitamin C. Raspberries also have vitamin B6 and magnesium. This amazing fruit has been shown to lower the risk of breast, cervical, colon, esophageal, and prostate cancers in both animals and humans. Studies have found that fully ripe organic raspberries have the most antioxidant qualities.
 
These can be sprinkled on top of food, mixed into meals or given as a snack by themselves or with other fruits. 
raspberries in bowl
When combining this into dinners, a good amount is 4 to 5 raspberries for Shih Tzu puppies and 5 to 6 for adults. These are a super low calorie food, with only 1 calorie per berry. 
strawberries
Can you give strawberries to a Shih Tzu? These are actually a safe, healthy snack for puppies and dogs, when given in moderation. Strawberries have a good amount of vitamin C and also contain some manganese which is important for healthy bone structure.  

If you live in an area where wild strawberries grow and your Shih Tzu has nibbled on some, you should know that wild strawberries are technically safe for dogs to eat; though if these were growing where woodland animals have frequented, this could be a potential danger if the dog was not vaccinated for Leptospirosis (which is a voluntary inoculation).
When giving strawberries to your Shih Tzu, a good serving size for a puppy is 1 or 2 small pieces and adults can eat 4 or 5, either given one at a time as a treat or reward or cut and mixed into a meal.
Can you give watermelon to a Shih Tzu? The name of this fruit is quite fitting, since a watermelon is 90% water. The remaining 10% consists of fiber and sugar. You'll be happy to know that a Shih Tzu can eat watermelon and this can be a great treat on a hot summer's day that can help keep a dog hydrated. 

There are several vitamins in this fruit including A, B6 and C. It also has potassium, magnesium and even a bit of iron. 

You won't want your dog to eat the seeds; they are edible however most dogs will swallow these whole and technically a good amount could potentially cause blockage. 
watermelon slice
You'll want to offer seedless watermelon (the tiny white seeds in those are just fine for dogs) or pluck out the black ones from seeded melons. In the summer, offering frozen watermelon pieces to your dog is a great way to keep him/her hydrated and to offer a nice, cooling treat. 

As with any food, you'll want to limit the amount that you give to your Shih Tzu , since many dogs are capable of eating a huge amount of this sweet fruit. A good serving size is 1/3 cup of small pieces for puppies under 1 year old and 1/2 cup for adults. If your Shih Tzu is dehydrated, you can offer a bit more, up to 1 cup diced. It is really low in calories, with only 46 calories in each cup.
Fruits that a Shih Tzu Should NOT Eat

As you have read so far, there are many fruits that are super healthy for a Shih Tzu and can be great additions to meals to replace higher calorie ingredients or given as snacks. However, there are some fruits that are dangerous for dogs to eat. This includes:
grapes are toxic for Shih Tzu
Grapes: While it is well known that grapes are toxic to canines, oddly the exact substance that causes the toxicity is not yet understood. Nevertheless, even a couple of grapes can make a Shih Tzu sick that will require emergency veterinary treatment and eating a large amount can be deadly via acute kidney failure.

The toxicity of grapes for canines is 32 grams per 1/2 pound of body weight. A typical seedless grape weighs 5 grams. This means that roughly 12 grapes are considered fatal for a 1 pound puppy and an adult would need to eat considerably more. However, even at lower doses, a dog can have serious health problems.
Signs include vomiting (this can happen up to 24 hours later), loss of appetite, weakness, inability to pass urine and abdominal pain. If your Shih Tzu eats grapes by accident, call the vet ASAP. 

You will most likely be instructed to induce vomiting by giving your puppy or dog hydrogen peroxide (1 ml per pound of body weight) and then will need to bring him to the vet right away for treatment.

Raisins and prunes - Raisins are toxic for the same reason as grapes, so just a couple can be deadly. Prunes themselves are not toxic (though the pits are); however prunes can cause digestive upset. 
cherries are toxic to dogs
Cherries - Cherries are very poisonous for dogs. Just one cherry may cause diarrhea and digestive issues; though several can be fatal for this toy breed. It is not the fruit itself, but rather the fact that the cherry pit is toxic. The flesh of the cherry is tight against the pit and with this tiny fruit, a dog will most often eat the whole thing, which means he will be ingesting the actinidain.

Signs of poisoning from cherries include dilated pupils, trouble breathing, increased heart rate and/or bright red gums. Without treatment, a dog can go into shock and can die.  Even with treatment, prognosis will depend on how many were eaten and how much time passes until the puppy or dog is brought to the vet.
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